Freud’s Last Session is a lively battle of wits

What happens when you put Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis in the same room?

What happens when you put Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis in the same room?

Find out during a limited two-week appearance at The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s Studio Theatre, as the two legendary and contrary thinkers boldly debate the great questions of our time. Freud’s Last Session, which opens Wednesday, Aug. 20, is a lively battle of wits between the illustrious psychoanalyst and the young academic and writer C.S. Lewis.

The tensions of World War II spill over into an intellectually thrilling, insightful, and humorous clash of  ideologies, philosophies and social perspectives.

Freud’s Last Session, written by Mark St. Germain, is considered a “tantalizing … well-written,” (The New York Times) story of “substance, wit, and poignancy” (Variety). Brought to the stage under vigorous direction of Daniel vanHeyst, the play delivers the most profound and deeply satisfying experience, due in part to the “assured and passionate performances” (Edmonton Sun) of actors Michael Peng (as C.S. Lewis) and Randy Fritz (as Dr. Freud), according to a press release.

“The actors captivate from the first debate to the last by expertly creating tension between the extremely different views, yet shared passion, between their characters,” states The Chemainus Theatre Festival.

Lewis is a social and optimistic young man with a strong sense of faith and way with words. Though confident in his beliefs, he enters the story dreading the reprimand that a recently-penned satire has surely earned him. However, the ailing Dr. Freud has a more significant agenda in his rather secular, pessimistic mind. In a series of debates, they will clash on matters of God, love, sex, friendship, and the fragility of life — mere weeks before Freud takes his own, and war takes many others.

Freud’s Last Session, a 2014 Sterling Award nominee, succeeds at the Festival’s mission to thoughtfully and creatively explore various elements of life and relationships.

For believers and skeptics of all kinds, this upcoming “Session” at The Chemainus Theatre Festival offers ring-side seats to a passionate exchange of banter between two famous and fascinating men. See them hurl questions — and discover compassion — in  successive one-upmanship of human imagination. Tickets for the matinee and evening shows Aug. 20-23 and Aug. 27-30 are available at www.chemainustheatrefestival.ca, or by calling The Chemainus Theatre Festival box office at 1-800-565-7738.